Charles Newton (1826 – June 5, 1894) was an early land owner of the Peralta Heights development. Newton is the likely origin of the name for Newton Avenue. He is said to be the originator of the idea for a roadway around Lake Merritt, and deeded land to the city for that purpose. 1

Newton was born in 1826 in Nottinghamshire, England, and came to California about 1854 5 or 1864. 1 He married Jane Armstrong (Newton) (1837 – July 6, 1911) who was born in Ireland, and they had six children: Charles Arthur Newton (1863 – 1870), Mabel Newton (Bell), Alice Newton (Rabe), Jessie Newton (Kinsell) (1870 – 1941), Henry ("Harry") Newton, and Frances ("Frankie") Newton (1876 – February 29, 1896).

According to his obituary, shortly after his arrival in California, he purchased 70 acres of land in Peralta Heights, and that was the basis of his fortune. 1 The 1880 census lists his profession as "retired merchant." Newton served as a town trustee of Brooklyn in 1870. 2,4 In 1877, Charles and Jane sold the land that would become Peralta Heights for $83,000. 6

Newton died June 5, 1894, of heart disease, and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, plot 4, with Jane, Charles, Frances, Jessie and her husband Benjamin, and Jane's mother, Rebecca Armstrong.

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Links and References

  1. Charles Newton Dead San Francisco Call June 6, 1894
  2. The Late Charles Newton Oakland Tribune June 6, 1894
  3. Funeral of Charles Newton of East Oakland Oakland Tribune June 6, 1894
  4. Taken For a Rail Ride Oakland Tribune May 1, 1952
  5. Will Be Missed Oakland Tribune June 5, 1894
  6. Real Estate TransactionsOakland Tribune April 11, 1877